• Mattie Stu

How the RESISTANCE Improved A-WINGS...

The successor to a Rebel Alliance craft beloved for its speed and manoeuvrability – even if it came at the expense of frequent breakdowns – the RZ-2 A-wing starfighter boasted generations of improvements. Made to be sleeker, faster, and more stable thanks to a longer frame – Kuat Systems Engineering purposefully streamlined the ship's chassis to ensure its notoriously sensitive control system was slightly more forgiving. Moreover, redesigned swivel mounts for both laser cannons allowed pilots to target rearward enemies, all without the worry of them jamming in such a position. This chronic problem plagued the Rebel A-wings before them, and could only be fixed when returned to base for maintenance.

With more powerful sensors for faster data collection and upgraded jammers to impede detection, the Resistance A-wing outperformed its predecessor when it came to hit-and-run raids, surgical strikes on capital ships, and missions involving intelligence gathering. For example, the RZ-2 could emerge from hyperspace, utilise its powerful suite of imagers and sensors, streak around an objective at top speed, before once more vanishing without a trace – all while enemy forces scramble to launch a counterattack. Even with a restricted production emplaced by the New Republic, the Resistance frequently used these very fighters for the likes of reconnaissance patrols and the safe escort of bombers. Of course, given such dangerous and technical assignments, pilots took great pride in proving they had both the daring and skills to master the ultra-fast, yet temperamental crafts.

Given its very title, the RZ-2 was not an initial successor to the Alliance's A-wing. In fact, Kuat designers developed the original R-22 prototype as a replacement for the Galactic Republic's Aethersprite starfighter. But after selling the initial batch to the planet Tammuz-an – having been rejected by the Galactic Empire – Rebel cells quickly acquired and modified several of the fighters. Completely stripping each down to boost both their speed and acceleration, the so-called RZ-1 not only rivalled the all-new Imperial TIE Interceptor, but it also played a key role in the Battle of Endor. Noticing this, Kuat resurrected its forgotten prototype to create the vastly superior RZ-2. In saying that, however, do you agree that the Resistance version of the A-wing was better than its Rebel predecessor? Let me know in the comments below.

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